Q&A With Taber Sullivan, Southeast Regional Manager of Group Travel Planners

Taber Sullivan

Taber Sullivan was born in Florida and graduated high school from Lennon Bay. He attended the University of Central Florida. He earned his degree in sociology in 1994. Upon completion of university, Mr. Sullivan went to Caracas, Venezuela for about six months, where he taught the English language to the employees of the biggest oil company in Venezuela. When he moved back to his home in the US, he was hired at the Hyatt Hotel Corporation. Over the next 10 years, he worked a variety of positions and was promoted to management within the corporation. In 2001 Taber Sullivan accepted a position with Group Travel Planners, based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He works from his home office in North Port, Florida. Taber has worked hard to climb up the ladder as he is currently the top salesperson for the company.

Mr. Sullivan is the proud father of five children. He has many hobbies including working out at the gym, participating in savage and spartan races, and volunteering at his local church. The Sullivan family are Christians and put Jesus first in their lives.

 

Is this your first position in an at home office?

I began working for Group Travel Planners in 2009, it was actually the first time I was in sales. It was also the first time that I worked from my home office. It was quite a change to work from a home environment.

 

How long have you been working from a home office for yourself?

I have been working from my home office for about nine and a half years. I really enjoy working from home.

 

What are the benefits of working from home? Are there any cons?

The benefits of working from home are that financially it is really lucrative. I speak with clients by phone and work on emails during the day. I enjoy meeting people face to face. I have made lifetime friends over the years working with Group Travel Planners. The benefits of working from home are that I don’t miss a bit of my children’s lives, I attend school functions or doctors’ appointments. I may have to work nights to make up the time but I appreciate the flexibility. I would say that the only con there would be to working from home is that many people cannot stay focused enough to stay on track.

 

What tools have you used to maintain your productive focus as you’ve built your foothold in this region?

I have a wonderful team who work with me at our home office. They stay on top of everything that is required to keep an exceptionally organized territory. They address all of my reservations, invoices, and itineraries.

 

What do you enjoy most about working for Group Travel Planners?

We have been in business for over 19 years and have an A+ rating from the better business bureau (BBB). Our company has grown about 20 percent each year we have been in business. I am excited about building my client base and meeting new people along the way.

 

What do you find most challenging?

The most challenging part of the business is when we have secured a school to take the trip and they cancel the trip due to finances. All of the work that was required for the trip was done well in advance, but no one reaps any rewards. We don’t have any control over the fundraising for the schools.

 

What are your favorite time management tools?

Zoho is the app that Group Travel Planners has provided for us to manage all of the work in the office. The app provides functions such as word processing, spreadsheet, file sharing and conferencing and more. We have over 180 school trips each year, and this makes us more productive.

 

Do you have people in your region that work under you? If so, how do you maintain contact with everyone?

I don’t have anyone else working in my region. We have an operations office in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There are two young women at the office who do all of my reservations, invoices, and itineraries.

 

How often do you visit the virtual office of your parent company?

I try to touch base with the home office every summer. I try to keep up with any new software or services that we will be using for the following year.

 

What have you done to develop your personal self-discipline with regard to your at home position?

The tool that I use to keep me most focused is my Google and Apple Desktop reminder. It keeps all of my phone appointments and email reminders.

 

What advice would you give to someone wanting to begin working in an at home position?

The best advice I could give to a person who is new to a work-at-home position is to stay focused. Treat your home office as though it were located in another building that you had to commute too. Make sure you are structured in the work that has to get done during the day. Most of all remove any distractions that might inhibit you from getting the work done.

 

What does the future hold for Group Travel Planners? What are you most excited about?

I have met many new friends over the past ten years.  We continue to help students go on these trips. For many of these children it will be an experience of a lifetime.  They may get to go to New York City to play at Carnegie Hall, or fly to Los Angeles and march in the Rose Bowl Parade. It is nice to put it together for them to experience that opportunity.

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